Prevent scope creep from affecting your project

Scope creep is something that we’ve all experienced, and it all starts with the best of intentions. It starts by agreeing to do a little extra, as an act of good faith and to build the customer relationship. Unfortunately, this has the potential to get out of hand really quick, resulting in chaos.

Sometimes, this extra work is brought on due to lack of knowledge or communication, we’ll explain.

If you were running a coding company, building the front end of a site on an existing platform, this existing platform would determine the functionality of the new one. If someone were to make changes to the original, the duplicate would need to be updated too. This means that the work is almost doubled as a result. In turn, there will be delays, your team will become demotivated and your client will become annoyed (and that’s putting it lightly).

So, what exactly is scope creep?

You know how when you plan a project, there are certain items that need to be done for it to be successfully completed? Scope creep is all the little extras that pop in along the way. Sometimes it’s because we’re too nice to say no while other times it’s as a result of things that are out of our control. Whatever the reason may be, it all boils down to time and money wasted.

The time these “quick” tasks take up impact the deadline. It also means that your team is not focusing on the actual project, which is a problem. It can also impact the quality of work and even result in project failure if not addressed.

Reasons for scope creep
  • Poorly defined project goals
  • Lack of client input
  • Lack of management processes
  • Not properly addressing and reviewing new requests
  • No priority list to follow

How to prevent scope creep

  • Be honest and transparent, addressing this as soon as it becomes evident
  • Understand the client’s goals and vision for the project
  • Create a detailed estimate and project scope outline
  • Be open to change, but be smart about how it may affect the project
  • Break down the project into more manageable tasks and processes with their own deadlines

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